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Old 12-15-2017, 08:15 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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There is a great list of traditional B&B's in Ireland.

Our Ireland Air B&B's were not cheaper and really crummy, so might as well get a real B&B with a responsibility to host.

People in Ireland ARE obsessed with their dogs (and expect you to be also.

Glad we had our rental car and Maps.me (searching for historical sites NOT listed on other maps. We found some treasures!

Driving?
1) get a diesel
2) keep the steering wheel to the center of the road
3) Watch for Slow tractors on country roads
4) Watch parking signs (they change throughout the cities... different times of parking and enforcement

prep...

a) Read history books and documentaries BEFORE you go. (rich history, so the more you know, the more your will appreciate and learn.

Spend time with the locals.
community events, music, drama, cooking, eating.
(we do homestays and volunteer to help with farm chores) Often changes our plans (for the better)
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:17 AM
 
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If you want an amazing tour of the Ring of Kerry contact this man. He is a retired police officer who drives an 8 passenger van and will spend the entire day with just the three of you. 8 1/2 hours for us. He took us places the big tour buses can't go, including where the Star Wars cast partied after finishing the film.

He knows the history of the entire area and will stop often to tell you about it. I can't say enough good things about that day. It was simply amazing.

Kenmare Taxi Tours-Private Escorted Tours of Kenmare & Ring of Kerry

Some things I learned about driving there (17 days):

Find a spot on the windshield just to the left of the A pillar that you can line up with the center line on roads. The car I drove had a sticker there and I used the center of that to keep the car where it belonged. When driving the back roads and turning left through one of those 90 degree corners ignore traffic and keep that line on the spot you choose. It can be a bit scary, but it works.

The right lane is the passing lane.

When you drive take your left hand off the steering wheel. Sounds dumb, right? It's not. When we drive here we all put a slight pressure on the left side of the steering wheel to compensate for the slope in the roads that lets rainwater run off. Anyone who has driven far a while does it without realizing they do it. When you drive on the left and put that pressure on the wheel you're encouraging the car to drive off the road!

Practice with the mirrors. It takes a while to stop the automatic glance to the right when checking the rear view. It's not there, lol.

Have someone remind you that you belong in the left lane when pulling out to turn. Every time.

Pay attention to traffic behind you, especially on the "back roads". Look for driveways or side roads that are wide enough to let you pull over and let the cars behind you pass. Remember the turn signal so they know what you're doing. The speeds they drive you won't be.

Roundabouts are better there. Wider, more lanes, better signage. Much better signage. Be careful to note what lanes can turn left as there are sometimes two.

"Go mall" means slow. You'll see it painted on the roads. You'll also see slow painted on them. I think it's a quiz of some kind.

First three words we learned driving in Ireland:

Roundabout
Go mall
Feck

You will meet a lot of Americans there. Look for someone carrying a book by Rick Steves. One of the places we stayed had nothing but Americans for breakfast.

Talk to people. We met three youngsters on vacation from France. Very interesting people and extremely nice.

You will likely be asked about politics. Our impression was that Trump scares Europeans.

If you end up staying in Kinsale try for the 3rd floor garden room at the Old Presbytery. And eat at the Cosy Cafe. Best chicken enchilada I've ever had!

I second the Newgrange recommendation. Totally blew us away.

Last edited by Tek_Freek; 12-15-2017 at 09:41 AM..
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:27 AM
 
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Thank you all so very much. The more I research the more I find that we will have to narrow down to a manageable list of things we have to see. Six days is not really a lot of time but I will appreciate being to drive on our own rather than on a tour, which makes it much easier to visit with locals. Love doing that. I think we will have to do a pub or two and maybe in Killarney and Dublin would be best since we can probably walk or taxi to one. We really only have one day in Dublin so the bus tour will allow us to see the most.

StealthRabbit you adventures must be fun and we love our dogs as well so that is good to know.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:54 AM
 
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Tek_Freek thanks for those tips! I have sent an email to the gentleman you suggested because that kind of tour would be so much more relaxing for me. Do you remember the cost off the top of your head? I got a price for a private tour in Dublin but it was over $600 and not doable with our budget.
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Old 12-15-2017, 09:59 AM
 
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IIRC around 300 Euros and worth every penny.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:24 AM
 
Location: NYC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redwood66 View Post
Thank you all so very much. The more I research the more I find that we will have to narrow down to a manageable list of things we have to see. Six days is not really a lot of time but I will appreciate being to drive on our own rather than on a tour, which makes it much easier to visit with locals. Love doing that. ...
If I'm being honest with you I think your itinerary/method is quite over ambitious for your limited time & inexperience with travel. I fear you will be exhausted & stressed out from driving all those twisty narrow roads on the opposite side (all your auto reflexes in a quick emergency situ will be wrong). You realize you have decided to drive from East Coast to West Coast & up the West Coast (twisty, curvy rainy drive) & back to the East Coast again in 5 days?

A lot of unfamiliar driving for a few days, first time out, frankly I would eliminate something & take trains more from Dublin. If it was me I would eliminate Cong, although Ashford is wonderful, & explore Cork & Kerry more by car, taking the train to Cork. Or take a train or bus ("coach") from Dublin to Galway & spend 4-5 days exploring that neck of the woods... but I understand that it is a rookie mistake to want to "see everything" first (only?) time out & you end up with memories of hours of driving down endless badly marked narrow roads possibly in the rain. Not relaxing &, I've learned, not how I want to spend a large amount of my time on a short holiday. Have a good trip whatever you decide...
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:41 AM
 
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We drove Galway to Dublin. Interstate the entire way. Easy drive. I agree with the back roads opinion they can be tiring. You don't get to relax at all on them.

Even with 17 days and only visiting the south portion of Ireland (draw a line from Dublin to Galway and eliminate anything north of that line) we felt rushed for a good portion of it. OTOH we are fast approaching 70. At 26 I'd not be bothered so much by it.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:46 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tek_Freek View Post
We drove Galway to Dublin. Interstate the entire way. Easy drive. I agree with the back roads opinion they can be tiring. You don't get to relax at all on them.

Even with 17 days and only visiting the south portion of Ireland (draw a line from Dublin to Galway and eliminate anything north of that line) we felt rushed for a good portion of it.

Ditto ~ same time frame and everything. We were even conscious of our "American Tourist" mentality and drive-by vacation habits and tried to change them, but didn't go far enough. 6 days is barely enough for any ONE location IMHO, but people will do what they will do....


BTW, was recently in Italy for a week to do a destination wedding, didn't go into one single church. Don't miss or regret it at all (actually, I won't be going back to Italy for any reason). So, someone not wanting to do Pubs in Ireland is not so strange to me, everyone places emphases and importance on different things.
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Old 12-15-2017, 10:51 AM
 
28,242 posts, read 39,908,153 times
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Originally Posted by Brian_M View Post
Ditto ~ same time frame and everything. We were even conscious of our "American Tourist" mentality and drive-by vacation habits and tried to change them, but didn't go far enough. 6 days is barely enough for any ONE location IMHO, but people will do what they will do....


BTW, was recently in Italy for a week to do a destination wedding, didn't go into one single church. Don't miss or regret it at all (actually, I won't be going back to Italy for any reason). So, someone not wanting to do Pubs in Ireland is not so strange to me, everyone places emphases and importance on different things.
Next year. Planning on about a month. Our plan is a month somewhere outside the U.S. every year until I can no longer travel, then tour the U.S. and Canada.

Why won't you go back? Sorry for the hijack, OP.
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:18 AM
 
4,620 posts, read 1,221,609 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hefe View Post
If I'm being honest with you I think your itinerary/method is quite over ambitious for your limited time & inexperience with travel. I fear you will be exhausted & stressed out from driving all those twisty narrow roads on the opposite side (all your auto reflexes in a quick emergency situ will be wrong). You realize you have decided to drive from East Coast to West Coast & up the West Coast (twisty, curvy rainy drive) & back to the East Coast again in 5 days?

A lot of unfamiliar driving for a few days, first time out, frankly I would eliminate something & take trains more from Dublin. If it was me I would eliminate Cong, although Ashford is wonderful, & explore Cork & Kerry more by car, taking the train to Cork. Or take a train or bus ("coach") from Dublin to Galway & spend 4-5 days exploring that neck of the woods... but I understand that it is a rookie mistake to want to "see everything" first (only?) time out & you end up with memories of hours of driving down endless badly marked narrow roads possibly in the rain. Not relaxing &, I've learned, not how I want to spend a large amount of my time on a short holiday. Have a good trip whatever you decide...
Thanks for your suggestions. Our plane lands in Dublin but we fly out of Shannon to come home to the US.
As Tek_Freek said the drive from Dublin to Killarney is pretty much freeway the entire way. I can't try to stop at every town on the way but take in the scenery on the drive. I also can't worry about what we will miss because for me having this experience with my sons is most important. The trip is set and booked because we went through Costco and hotels are set. I have taken so many trips in the US where we try to see every damn thing between point A and B and all I am is exhausted at the end with pictures to prove we were there. I will not do that this time. If I sleep in at Ashford Castle I will for sure enjoy that experience as well.
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